Lately, the Norwegian and I have made several day trips out of town to handle family business.  In the past, we’ve used our GPS, which we lovingly call “Emily,” because that’s what the company named the particular voice setting we use. Well, it turns out that Emily is a much better navigator than I am. Never mind it’s her job and she has most routes plotted out and stored in her electronic mind. How in the world could anyone else compete? Usually, I don’t. Because I am a terrible navigator.

However, on this trip we forgot Emily. Yes, went off without her. And we suffered for it because we were left to our own devices.  Actually, the cell phoneNorwegian wasn’t too concerned because he has a “map ap” on his smart phone.  The words map ap should’ve been my first clue that we were in trouble.

We knew how to get to the outskirts of where we were going; then we decided to use his handy-dandy  map ap to guide us to the specific addresses we needed to find. Sounds simple, right?

The scene went something like this:

Norwegian (driving, hands me his cell phone): Just type in the address and follow the blinking dot. That purple line leads us to the address. Just make sure the blinking dot stays on the purple line.

Me:  Blinking dot? I want a list of streets, not a blinking dot.

Norwegian: No, you want the blinking dot because it will tell you where to turn before we get there.

Mind you, the display area is a 3.5 x 2 inch cell phone screen. I’m blind without my  reading glasses and  get a little woozy if I try to get up and walk around with them on, much less try to read something tiny in a moving car… because, of course, the Norwegian, bless his stubborn heart, would rather get lost than pull over and give me time to familiarize myself with his darned blinking dot map ap.

Still, I tried to be a good copilot and make it work. Despite how the blinking dot, which represented our car, seemed to be moving in a different direction than we were traveling. I turned the phone every which way trying to get the dot to move in the same direction. Soon, I thought I was getting the hang of it.  Until the Norwegian asked me the name of the street BEFORE we were supposed to make our turn. 

Me: I can’t read it. The print is too small.

Norwegian: Just do this (indicating that I should use my fingers to enlarge the screen).

I did this… and the blinking dot went off the screen. Panicking, I jabbed at the page trying to minimize it so the blinking dot would come back into frame, but a different page popped up – some sort of advertisement. Of course. I couldn’t figure out how to make the darn thing go away.

Me: Are you kidding me? Just tell me how to get to the darn page that lists the directions. If I’m going to navigate I have to use a system I can understand – unless you want to pull over and show me how to work this thing.

Norwegian (who kept driving on): How can you be so good at backseat driving, but so bad at navigating?

As I made a conscious decision to bite my tongue, I realized why our daughter says that when the Norwegian and I are in the car she sometimes feels as though she’s stuck in a Seinfeld scene featuring George Costanza’s parents. Poor girl.

How about you? Are you a better pilot or copilot? Do you have any funny road trip stories to share?


Celebration's BrideRT Book Club gives CELEBRATION’S BRIDE 4.5 stars! They say, “…Her couples’ imperfections make them realistic and alluring and their love scenes are provocative and passionate.” CELEBRATION’S BRIDE, book four in the Celebrations, Inc. series, will hit the shelves in July.

20 thoughts on “I am a Terrible Navigator

  1. Mia Marlowe says:

    I’m kind of old school. My dad taught me to read a map (yeah, those folded-up paper thingies) when I was a kid and I chose the routes for our family camping trips for years. We always made it home. I have a pretty good sense of direction, but I will confess that Boston has baffled me more than once. This is one place where 3 right turns will usually NOT bring you back to the same spot.

    FYI, our GPS is named Elvira and she’s been worth her weight in platinum since we moved to New England.

    1. Mia, I our GPS went crazy in Boston. Or should I say we went crazy because some of the highway exits were so close together that by the time Emily spit out the directions, we’d already zipped on past. We can vouch for what you said about 3 right turns not bringing you back to the same spot. :)Love the name Elvira!

  2. I’m with you, Nancy. Terrible at looking at the phone or GPS. I really need a God-like voice to say, “Okay, Kristan, slow down…it’s coming up on your left…your other left…that’s it…and turn the wheel. You made it!” I love to look at maps; just don’t ask me to use one. : )

    1. Kristan, if you find that God-like voice, please let me know. It sure would come in handy!

  3. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    Oh, Nancy, I so feel for you! His Highness and I almost didn’t make it through our honeymoon because he wanted me to navigate, and I have extremely poor spatial skills, to put it mildly. He couldn’t believe I wasn’t deliberately trying to Gaslight him. 😉

    My kids have travel-time and directions apps that they love, but I use mine only when I start seeing red-eyed people with pickaxes clustering around abandoned buildings. Our favorite GPS story is from England, when the lovely, cultured voice repeatedly directed us to make the second right at the rohn-dabout. Someone mimics her almost daily.

    Congratulations on making it home in one piece–undivorced!

    1. Love your “rohn-dabout” story, Kathleen. 🙂 Emily constantly tells us to take the “slip road” off the highway.

  4. Sandi in OH says:

    Actually I am very good at navigating. We have gone on many trips and seldom get lost. I know how to read a map. Our GPS is named Edith because my husband once called it a dingbat.

    1. Edith?! That’s priceless, Sandi. 🙂

  5. Shana Shana says:

    I think I’m a good navigator, but for whatever reason all the navigation tools I have fall short. When they give the mileage info, it confuse me how it’s next to the street. So is it 2 miles to that street or after that street 2 miles to the next point? There’s where USF takes over.

    1. Shana, that’s perfect! We are good navigators. It’s the navigation tools that are the problem. That’s what I’m going to tell the Norwegian next time.

  6. Connie Fischer says:

    When my husband and I lived in France, I had to learn very quickly to be a good navigator. We drove all over Europe and it quickly became second nature to me. I admit that having a GPS is a big improvement. I don’t feel like I have to be “on duty” every minute!

    I just received your generously given copy of “Celebration’s Bride” in the mail. It is fabulous and I’m almost finished reading it. I hope that readers everywhere will run out and buy a copy of it when it’s published next month. A terrific book and a great story. I’ll post a review on Goodreads and Amazon as soon as I finish it today. Thank you ever so much, Nancy!

    1. Connie, thank you so much for your kind words about CELEBRATION’S BRIDE. I appreciate it so much. In fact, you made my day!

  7. catslady says:

    I have no sense of direction. I get lost in a mall! I have read a few maps when traveling but I’m not comfortable giving directions. We don’t have a GPS and when I’m in a car with others that use it, it seems too confusing. Luckily my husband has a really good sense of direction and normally (magically) know what direction we need to go. Even locally, when he drives he can get to the same spot 10 different ways which only confuses me more lol.

    1. Catslady, you and I are a pair, aren’t we? I would say we should stick together, but we’d probably get lost. On second thought, let’s stick together anyway. 🙂

  8. CateS says:

    I have a good sense of direction and love maps.. And I can read in a moving vehicle without getting sick.. So hubby drives & I direct when traveling someplace new.

    1. CateS, I’m going to call you the next time the Norwegian and I head out without Emily. 😉

  9. Love this, Nancy! I have nooo sense of direction, and routinely copy down the Mapquest directions to wherever, rather than trusting our TomTom (because, yanno, I never update him). He doesn’t have a name, and whenever the settings get messed up and the voice comes on, Arizona and I both grab for the thing, going, “Turn it off, turn it off!!” LOL!

    1. Jesse, come to think of it, we’ve never updated Emily. I know what you mean about grabbing for the darned GPS when you don’t need its input. Ours constantly says, “Recalculating…” and we swear she gets an attitude when she says it.

  10. Nancy, my hubby and I have some of our “best” arguments in the car. He says I’m an inveterate backseat driver and I say he drives too fast and brakes too hard! Plus, he likes to check the little map on the GPS WHILE he’s driving in the fast lane down the highway, which drives me crazy. Yes, we have many interesting “chats” on the road!

    1. Vanessa, you and I can be co-presidents of the “Backseat Drivers’ Club.” 😉

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